The Next Five Years

Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.

My confidence in the iOS platform has been waning over the last 12 months. iOS 7 was a hard upgrade to swallow both in terms of the changes and the work it brought. A questionable visual refresh, but few improvements to a core experience that finally felt behind what the competition was offered.

My time with C# and Azure showed me the sharp edges in Objective-C that I wasn’t fully aware of before. It’s not that Objective-C is a bad language (it’s pretty great), but it’s also built on a foundation that makes things that should be simple not so simple.

Even the developer tools were lacking. The iOS publishing and beta experience has been laughably bad for years, especially compared to what Google offers Android developers.

And then in two hours, Apple shut me up. They pretty much offered a solution for every single thing I have bitched about over the past five years. Extensions, CloudKit, a new iTunes Connect. And Swift, an entirely new programming language that will likely power the future of iOS and OS X development for years to come.

I came into this years WWDC fairly mellow to what would or wouldn’t be announced. There wasn’t any anticipation or excitement the night before. Just a standard amount of curiousity. After the Keynote, I can’t remember being that excited since the announcement of the original iPhone. They blew the roof off Moscone.

With my entire list of complaints about the Apple platform resolved, what am I supposed to complain about now? I have spent the better part of the last week thinking about an entirely new list of things for Apple to work on these next five years, so that I can both continue to have something to nitpick and because I truly believe they will enhance the platform in meaningful ways.

Here’s to the next five years.

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By Justin Williams

This is a two sentence bio. There are many like it, but this one is mine.